Dog toys are a must-have! They provide essential enrichment for your dog to keep them happy and healthy.
Dog toys also help to prevent bad behaviors caused by boredom, separation anxiety, and hyperactivity.
While these items tend to be expensive, there are many ways to save money and make your own toys for your dog.
What is the best material to use? Plastic water bottles!
We have plenty of ideas for homemade dog toys using water bottles and we’ll share them all with you.
You’ll also find out why you should use homemade dog toys over store-bought ones and how to introduce a new toy to your dog.
Why Use Homemade Dog Toys
Homemade dog toys can bring the same stimulation and enjoyment that expensive dog toys can without the need to spend your hard-earned money!
Most of the dog toys you can DIY are made with materials you can find around your home.
Dogs were raised in the wild to look for food and to work. Only recently have they learned to have their food delivered to them.
But their body still needs to work to get food despite being domesticated and having a sedentary, modern lifestyle.
Puzzle toys are different from food-dispensing toys, so first determine the purpose of your homemade dog toy.
Puzzle toys allow our furry friends to solve problems with their delicate parts, while food-dispensing toys are simpler and made more safely while offering similar mental stimulation.
Aside from satisfying your dog’s evolutionary drives, here are some of the benefits that puzzle toys and food-dispensing toys offer.
- Relieving anxiety and hyperactivity by teaching self-control.
- Reducing the risk of separation anxiety by keeping them occupied.
- Providing entertainment while they are inside.
- Reducing stress or depression while they are in confinement.
- Slowing down chewing and swallowing of food to prevent bloating.
There are many toys available that offer these advantages, but it’s more practical for you to make them!
This is especially true for new puppy owners who will need new toys as your puppy grows.
Homemade Dog Toys with Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles are bad for the environment. But instead of sending them into landfill, you can recycle them into an eco-friendly dog toy that your four-legged friend will love.
Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
If your dog enjoys toys that make noises, a dog rattle made with a plastic bottle would be super fun to create!
It’s easy. All you will need for this toy is the following:
- plastic bottle
- rice or beans
- socks or fabric.
It’s simple. Place the rice or beans inside the water bottle then place it inside the sock. Ensure that the bottle is tightly closed for safety.
While this item is perfect for large dogs, we don’t recommend giving this DIY toy to heavy chewers as they might break the toy and swallow the materials inside it.
Be sure to always watch your dog when they are playing with these homemade toys.
Bottle Crunch Homemade Dog Toy
This toy is like a dog rattle, except you’re using kibbles!
Once your dog has destroyed the toy, they can enjoy a few munchies for reward.
All you need to make this toy is the following:
- plastic water bottle
- dry kibble
- old socks.
Always supervise your dog whenever they’re playing with this toy. They might go after the cap once they’ve destroyed it.
Replace the toy as soon as it’s destroyed.
The full instructions can be found on The Dog People’s page.
This isn’t necessarily a soft plush toy, but it’s soft enough to be turned into a stuffed toy that your dog will always carry around.
This is probably the easiest toy to make. The required materials are simply a lot of socks, at least three, and a plastic bottle.
Just wrap the bottle in layers of socks to create a padded soft toy.
If it’s a hot day, you can soak it in water, wring it out, and put it in the freezer! It’s a perfect toy for teething puppies.
If you want a treat-dispensing toy that is much easier to play with than the Bottle Crunch Toy, this one will work!
For this item, you will need the following:
- empty water bottle
- craft knife
- dog treats.
You can also wrap it in a sock or two as long as you cut the same holes through the socks and the bottle.
Cut one or two holes in the bottle, making sure they are slightly bigger than the treat. This will let the treats drop out with only a bit of a challenge.
If the hole is too small, your dog might easily get bored of the toy and won’t even bother trying to get the rewards inside.
You want to make it challenging but not impossible. You also don’t want to overfill the bottle.
This toy is similar to the dog toy which uses t-shirts, but it has two ends that make it great for playing tug of war.
For this item, you will need the following:
- plastic bottle
- yard of fabric or old shirt
To make this, cut three to four 1-inch strips of fabric from the edges of your fabric. You’ll use these to tie the actual cloth around the bottle.
Make sure to tie a knot and leave excess fabric at both ends of the bottle.
The full instruction for this DIY tug toy is on Ammo the Dachshund’s page!
DIY Treat Dispenser
You can also try this fancier treat dispenser with a stand if you have extra materials. It takes a little more time to make but it’s more interactive and elegant-looking than the others!
Prepare the following materials:
- chicken nesting box
- ½” PVC pipe
- 2 PVC ½” end caps
- plastic bottle
Seems like a lot, right? But it’s super worth it! This toy is ideal for dogs in shelters or even pets at home with resourceful owners.
You can also paint the nesting box if you want.
The full instructions can be found on Daily Dog Tag’s page.
Store-Bought Dog Toys
We’ve shared with you some of the best homemade toys made with plastic bottles. But if you would rather just save time and buy one, here are our top picks.
Best Food-Dispensing Dog Toy
The best food-dispensing toy is Kong Classic Dog Toy. This popular toy comes from a legendary brand that specializes in making these kinds of toys!
This food-dispensing toy from Kong is made of durable rubber. It can carry your dog’s favorite treats while keeping their teeth healthy and clean.
You can also throw this toy since it quickly bounces in different directions. Your pup will definitely chase this food-dispensing toy!
Best Dog Toy Puzzle
For puzzle toys, the best product we recommend is Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Toy by Outward Hound.
It helps with training for “nose work” if your furry friend needs an outlet for their bursts of energy.
This level 2 toy is so popular! The red part features lids that flip up to reveal their favorite treats. The white ones are removable compartments that are more difficult to open.
Your dog will remove the white ones before they can slide the red blocks.
Introducing a New Toy to Your Dog
There are some occasions when your dog may not enjoy their new dog toy the way you imagined them to. What you find interesting may be bland and boring to them.
If you think that the toy is beneficial for your dog’s mental stimulation, introduce it to them with these steps.
Step 1: Act Excited
Acting excited when introducing a new toy to your dog may be easier said than done.
Put the toy on the floor near you and wait for them to come to you.
Pat them on the head when they approach you and the toy.
Encourage them to sniff and investigate the toy. Be calm and enthusiastic and check if they are wagging their tail.
You can also offer praises to them so they will be more likely to do it again.
Step 2: Reward Your Dog with Treats
Scatter the toy with treats to bribe them!
If the toy you’re offering them is a treat dispenser, then they should be able to smell it and get motivated to uncover the rewards.
Try moving the toy around and shake it to show them what it looks like when moving and so they can hear any treats inside.
Step 3: Add Challenge
Once your dog feels comfortable and happy with the toy, add more of a challenge!
Reduce the number of times you give them treats or make it harder to release the treats from the dispenser toy.
Adding a challenge reduces your dog’s boredom with the toy.
Dog Toy Safety
Make sure that your DIY toys are safe to use. And just because they are safe does not mean you shouldn’t supervise their use.
Some toys and puzzles may have small pieces that can be swallowed if destroyed. Besides, no dog toy is fully indestructible.
Always consider how durable a toy is, especially if your dog is a heavy chewer!
If your dog also likes non-toy items like shoes, the toy you’ll be giving them shouldn’t look like shoes. It should be unique, so they can recognize it as their own.
FAQ Dog Toys
Why are Interactive Dog Toys Important?
Interactive dog toys are important for mental stimulation.
You can prevent unnecessary behaviors like boredom, separation anxiety, and loneliness by training them to play with interactive toys.
These items usually have sound, movement, and puzzle to keep their mind active.
Choose durable and non-toxic interactive dog toys so they can last a long time without harming your dog.
What Other Materials Can I Use for Making Dog Toys?
If you’ve enjoyed making dog toys out of plastic bottles, you can also DIY with rope.
There are endless numbers of knots you can try to make your dog rope toy. The length of the rope you need also depends on their age and whether they are a heavy chewer.
Learn how to tie your own rope dog toy so you can save lots of time and money instead of buying new toys.
What is the Most Indestructible Dog Toy to Make?
The best materials to use for making an indestructible dog toy are rope and denim. These are high-quality and easy to create for an aggressive chewer
You can also try making your own interactive feeder toy that is durable using PVC pipes and dried sweet potato chew toys.
Making a toy box for storage is also important to keep the toys away from your dog when it’s not playtime.
Check out all the instructions for making indestructible dog toys now!
Make Toys for Your Dog!
Making your own toys for your dog is fun and easy. It saves a lot of money, especially when they are aggressive chewers.
It also saves a lot of money for dog owners whose dogs are continuously growing and in need of new toys.
You are also guaranteed that the materials used are safe because you made them yourself.
Many eco-friendly dog owners love making their own toys for their dogs. If you’re one of them, you can also try store-bought eco-friendly dog toys to save time and effort!